LETTERS [June 2002]
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2002:
The letter from Patty Finch in your May edition, “Where
there is meat, I don’t eat,” is a very special tribute to farmed
animals. If humanity is ever going to rise to a higher level, it
has to do with the whole animal kingdom. After turning vegan at age
50, and realizing I had been responsible for around 50 animal deaths
per year, I composed a prayer to say for each one. I say it a few
times a day.
of West Michigan
P.O. Box 485
Grand Haven, MI 49417
I was moved by Patty Finch’s letter in the May 2002 edition
of ANIMAL PEOPLE. Her message is “Where there is meat, I don’t eat.”
This is her way of acknowledging the tremendous pain and suffering
that animals go through for meat to be on the table. As a new vegan,
I often find that I end up not eating, or eating very little, in
the presence of meat. Patty helped me realize what I really feel
inside, like mourning, in the presence of meat. I also feel this
way about dairy and other animal products encountered in clothing,
medications, and so forth. I feel outrage when I see animal
products used for decoration, such as cosmetics and furs. It is
uplifting to know that others feel strongly too.
I don’t know if I have the courage to talk about this with my
in-laws, colleagues, and meat-eating friends. They all know I am
vegan and see that I eat very little of what they serve. Perhaps if
I continue to read such supportive, courageous statements as
Patty’s, I too will learn to enjoy myself and my friends without
eating when animal products are served.
I welcome suggestions.
Great article on Huntingdon in your May edition! Nice to see
someone asking hard questions.
The French option on your web site is great! Thank you!
Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing studies
I am writing on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Center for
Alternatives to Animal Testing in regards to your May article “Rats,
mice, birds amendment, Jesse Helms & Johns Hopkins.”
In the sixth paragraph, you wrote, “As home of the Center
for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins was supposed to
have already been maintaining exemplary animal care standards.”
According to whom? CAAT was established to promote the
development and use of alternative methods. We promote those methods
within Johns Hopkins as well as to the rest of the world. We have no
authority, however, to enforce animal welfare standards or even to
require the use of alternative methods. We are an academic,
science-based center–not a governing body like the Institutional
Animal Care and Use Committee.
In the ninth paragraph, you misquoted an article from the
Baltimore Sun as follows: “In 20 years, CAAT has made more than 200
awards totaling $4.5 million…” (but) “It has opposed tighter
federal regulation of laboratory rodents as too costly.”
In fact, the Baltimore Sun noted that Johns Hopkins
University-not CAAT-has opposed federal regulation of rodents. CAAT
Director and Hopkins Professor Alan M. Goldberg has stated
publicly-and repeatedly-that he sees no valid scientific reason for
the exclusion of rats, mice, and birds from the Animal Welfare Act.
Dr. Goldberg and other CAAT staff have made this same statement on
the record before the National Academy of Sciences, as well as at
numerous other scientific meetings. Also, members of the CAAT
Advisory Board issued a statement in December 2001 in support of the
inclusion of rats, mice, and birds under the AWA.
In the last paragraph, you stated that CAAT’s refinement
studies are “involving subjecting mice and rats to pain to see what
happens, and killing them afterward to study their tissues.”
The four projects funded by CAAT do not simply “subject mice
and rats to pain to see what happens.” One study by Hal Markowitz
and Clifford Roberts involves no pain at all. It is a study of the
effects of enrichment on mice. One by Alicia Z. Karas is a study of
post-surgery pain management on rodents that attempts to determine
the best combination of approaches for minimizing pain in mice. When
possible, Karas is using mice who are already scheduled for surgery
under another protocol. When she cannot do so, she takes great
efforts to minimize her numbers. The third study, by Bert van
Zutphen and Vera Baumans, is looking at noninvasive approaches to
stress and pain management–an important and promising area for
reducing both, given recent advances in technology. The fourth
study, by Norman C. Peterson, does require the infliction of pain,
but pain equivalent to a needle stick. It also involves a small
number of mice. Yes, their tissues will be studied in an attempt to
identify biomarkers that would allow scientists to develop better
tools for the identification and assessment of pain in mice.
All four of these projects, in addition to being reviewed by
the CAAT Advisory Board, were submitted for review at their host
institutions, to ensure that these investigators met accepted
standards for animal welfare.
Director of Communications
The Johns Hopkins Center for
Alternatives to Animal Testing
111 Market Place, Suite 840
Baltimore, MD 21202
The Editor responds:
CAAT has represented many times since 1981 that it exists at
Johns Hopkins in exemplification and reflection of the standards,
ideals, and policies of the institution. That CAAT favored coverage
of rats, mice, and birds by the Animal Welfare Act, independent of
the position of Johns Hopkins University, or had any official
positions differing from those of Johns Hopkins, was never
previously brought to our attention by anyone.
Two sentences were transposed in the quotation from the
Baltimore Sun. This was a typographical error, for which we
After receiving the CAAT complaint above, we eventually
found at web sites–after much searching– two statements by Alan M.
Goldberg supporting coverage of rats, mice, and birds by the Animal
Welfare Act, made in February 1998 and December 2001.
Our source of the information about the nature of the current
CAAT-funded studies was Lisa Livovitz’s own press release of December
10, 2001, which overwhelmingly emphasized that they are primarily
studies of pain. Her headline mentioned “pain, distress.” The
phrase “pain and distress,” or mention just of pain, recurred in
the first six paragraphs plus four others. Only the 15th and 16th
paragraphs mentioned stress apart from a reference to pain. The word
“enrichment” appeared just twice, both times in the 13th paragraph.
Livovitz’s summary of the Peterson project, given first,
explained how mice will be killed for tissue study. Her summary of
the Karas project described invasive ovarian surgery. It made no
mention either that these mice “are already scheduled for surgery
under another protocol” or that “When she cannot do so, she takes
great efforts to minimize her numbers.”
Livovitz’s summary of the Zutphen and Baumans project
specified that “post-mortem measurements at the end of the
experiment” are part of the protocol, after the mice have been
subjected to stress at differing levels for an unspecified length of
Soy and rice milk in schools
The Special Nutrition Program, part of the Food & Nutrition
Service, under the USDA, is now taking comments about adding soy and
rice milk alternatives to public school food programs.
If we don’t accomplish this now, it might be years before we
get another chance. We are so close that it would be a shame to let
it slip through our fingers.
Contact: Peter Murano, Associate Deputy Administrator,
Special Nutrition Program, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, 3101
Park Center Drive, Room 628, Alexandria, VA 22302; telephone
703-305-2052 (ask for Carlyn Fiel); fax 703-305-2782.
I will be happy to answer any questions.
New York, N.Y.
Where did all the coyotes go?
I was shocked, yet pleased to see “Where did all the coyotes
go?” in the May 2002 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE. Wildlife Orphanage
has been receiving complaints about Guardian Pest Control for four
years. The statements of the owner about the disposal of “nuisance”
animals are contradictory and involve an apparent violation of public
To date, Guardian Pest Control has failed to comply with the
written requests of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to
resubmit the 2001 annual report, which as previously filed failed to
include all of the information required by law. Guardian has
recently hired an attorney who, according to the Indiana Public
Access Counselor, has approached her for information about exempting
his client from the law. He has agreed to provide the required data
to the IDNR, but does not want it to be publicly accessible.
In your article, the question is raised as to whether or not
Guardian furnishes the unaccounted-for coyotes to “chase pens.”
This is an angle I did not previously think of, but nothing
would surprise me.
–Laura M. Nirenberg
4988 W. 150 North
LaPorte, IN 46350
Data gathered by North Dakota humane investigator Sheila
Bichler and special agents of the USDA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service indicates that midwestern trappers are among the major
suppliers of coyotes and foxes to chase pens located mainly in
Oklahoma and the rural South. Much of the traffic violates both the
federal Lacey Act and the legislation of various states. At least 20
traffickers in coyotes and foxes for chase pens have been convicted
of related offenses since 1995, and in February 2002 the South
Carolina Department of Natural Resources charged 21 people with
alleged illegal possession of coyotes and foxes. The sources of the
animals are official unknown.
You reported in your April edition that the American
Legislative Exchange Council membership includes “at least 20
corporations and trade associations having histories of frequent
conflict with animal advocates,” and that it “also helps to push
so-called ‘hunter bills of rights.'”
Corporate members of ALEC, you wrote, “are able to rapidly
adapt single pieces of pre-drafted legislation for introduction in
their own states, and simultaneously push the same agenda in
statehouses across the nation,” while “multiple introductions
fragment the ability of national animal groups to respond,” because
they are “poorly organized at the state level.”
As founder and co-director of the National Institute for
Animal Advocacy (NIFAA), whose first professional political training
workshop will be held in October, and as founder and lobbyist for
Animal Advocacy Connecticut, I plead for animal advocates to wake up
to the alarm that has been ringing for a decade. Animal advocates in
every state must begin to build grassroots political machines–voting
blocks–at the state level, and raise money to hire committed
full-time activist organizers and lobbyists.
Even without ALEC it is horrifying that the animal rights
community does not conceptualize, establish and financially support
professional state political lobbying organizations.
Remaining outsiders means we must continue to settle for the
occasional peanut along with many defeats, while anti-animal
legislation and anti-animal public policy continue to dominate.
This is true not because we do not have public support; it
is true because we have failed to face the fact that to have serious
impact in the legislative and policy arena, we must function as
players in that arena.
National advocacy organizations have neither the will nor
vision to function as true lobbying presences. Further, because
they are charities, they cannot legally do political organization,
without which lobbying efforts are like trying to walk on one hand.
The National Institute for Animal Advocacy’s debut political
training workshop will be held October 19-21 in Madison,
Connecticut. Seasoned and successful political organizers from other
issue groups and top political aides will instruct you in how to
think politically and how to establish your own voting block and
political lobbying organization.
This will be a professional-level crash course. I beg ANIMAL
PEOPLE readers to attend.
P.O. Box 475
Guilford, CT 06437
Youth for Conservation, with support from the International
Fund for Animal Welfare, Ker and Downey Safaris, the Anne Kent
Taylor Foundation, the Bill Woodley Mount Kenya Trust, Helaine
Lerner, Inge Buchard, and Judith Rudnai, has since January 2002
conducted five two-week desnaring sweeps and done community
conservation education in and around Mount Kenya National Park,
Nairobi National Park, and the Masai Mara National Reserve.
The sweeps yielded a total of 541 snares, saving many
animals from a cruel and agonizing death.
The Mount Kenya team discovered a highly lethal kind of trap
that we had not seen before. Several poisoned metal spikes were
fixed to a heavy piece of wood and placed slightly buried and
well-camouflaged in a path used mainly by elephants. The poison is
believed to be deadly enough to drop an elephant in 30 minutes.
In the same area, the team found a poached elephant carcass
with tusks hacked off, apparently dead about four days. This was
immediately reported to the authorities, and was extremely alarming
and disturbing, after the poaching of 10 elephants and four rhinos
in Tsavo National Park at Easter, and the poaching of seven other
elephants in Samburu National Park later in April.
It is suspected that ivory dealers are gathering stockpiles
in hope that the global ban on ivory trafficking may be lifted at the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species meeting in
Chile this November.
Another of our teams found poachers in Masai Mara with a
freshly speared impala. The poachers fled.
Declining numbers of snares found in some revisited hotspots
show that our sweeps and community conservation education efforts are
We promote beekeeping and neem tree planting as
income-generating sustainable alternatives to the bushmeat trade.
We welcome donations and sponsorships to help us continue our mission.
Youth for Conservation
P.O. Box 27689
Nyayo Stadium 00506
Tel/Fax: 254 -2-606479
If everything is going so well in the fight against pet
overpopulation, then how is it that every shelter is still
overcrowded? By now there should be noticeable improvement.
U.S. animal shelters were (and are) typically built to hold
as many dogs and cats as they expect to receive in one week. After
that, if the animals have not been rehomed, the traditional
strategy is that they must be killed to make room for more. In
practice, as the numbers of homeless dogs and cats soared during the
1950s and 1960s, shelters typically became so overcrowded that the
average holding period for dogs often dropped to three days, and for
cats, overnight. Now, because the numbers of animals entering
shelters have declined by about 75% in the past 30 years while the
numbers rehomed have more than doubled, the typical holding period
is back up to about a week to 10 days in most of the U.S., and two
weeks in some places.
The B.C. dog-chaining case
Yes, the British Columbia SPCA seized a neglected Rottweiler
named Scarlet in Victoria in a prominent case pertaining to prolonged
dog-chaining, as you reported in April, but until the Animal
Advocates Society of B.C. told the BC/SPCA’s CEO, president, and
director of field operations to bloody well do something about her,
the BC/SPCA had ignored her, as it has ignored thousands of other
neglected dogs for the last five decades. By the end of that day the
BC/SPCA had seized Scarlet.
Scarlet then had to be saved a second time–from the BC/SPCA,
when it started dropping hints about her “aggressiveness” and
unsuitability for rehoming.
What of the much ballyhooed prosecution of Scarlet’s owner?
After three months, all the BC/SPCA says is that the prosecutor is
still considering the charges.
We think that Scarlet was milked for all she was worth, and
that the BC/SPCA has only led the way down a dead end, as always.
Where is Scarlet now? The SPCA claims she is in a foster
home being rehabilitated. It is unlikely that any of us will ever
know if one day she is secretly put down.
–Judy Stone, President
Animal Advocates Society of B.C.
2667 Haywood Ave.
West Vancouver, B.C.
V7Y 1Y7 Canada
Texas Snow Monkey Sanctuary
Concerning your April 2002 article “Animal Protection
Institute fires snow monkey sanctuary founder,” about the March 5
firing of Texas Snow Monkey Sanctuary director Lou Griffin, I worked
as an intern at the sanctuary from January 2002 until early March. I
left earlier than was expected due to irreconcilable conflicts about
animal care with site manager Tom Quinn. Before my departure, I
called API executive director Alan Berger to discuss my reasons for
leaving and my concern about the future welfare of the animals at the
sanctuary, since the one and only person who could adequately take
care of the animals had been ousted. I was assured that matters were
Since then, I have learned from people on site that there
are several issues that compromise the health and well-being of the
For example, one of our daily duties was to medicate sick
animals. If no one now on staff knows the tattooing system, used
since the troop was in Japan decades ago, then how can the animals
be identified and medicated? The staff members who knew the
tattooing system and were responsible for administering medicine have
been gone for three months. In my observation, the site manager
could not recognize by name nor read the tattoo numbers of 85% of the
animals we saw–and he is the most experienced person there!
The sanctuary is currently staffed with two high school
graduates, one occasional volunteer who is completely untrained and
inexperienced in any aspect of primate behavior, and API regional
representative Don Barnes, who as Primarily Primates president Wally
Swett told API president Gary Pike, “cannot tell one species of
primate from another.”
Also of concern to me is that API reneged in early May on an
agreement made in September 2001 to take 14 socially-housed vervets
from Harvard University. The Texas Snow Monkey Sanctuary has never
before refused to take in a former lab animal. This was a grave
disservice to the animals who were to be rescued, and an extreme
disservice to the vervets already at the sanctuary, as they are all
former pets and lab animals who lacked exposure to a functioning
social group. The Harvard group could have taught the other vervets
the appropriate communal behavior.
Surely the Harvard vervets were not declined due to lack of
space, as the vervets currently at the Texas Snow Monkey Sanctuary
do not even begin to crowd their 5-acre enclosure. And it certainly
can’t be due to lack of funds, as API raised $3.8 million in fiscal
2001, against a budget of $2.2 million.
I understand from an on-site source that no one has been
inside the baboon enclosure since I left. Nor have the caged baboons
been exercised or even prepped to join the free-ranging baboons. No
baboon releases have taken place, although the risky estrus season
has come and gone. One particular group of monkeys, who arrived in
March 2001, has now been caged for over one year. The same animals
who were singly housed in quarantine/rehab cages when I left are
still in the same cages, and are still kept alone.
The dogs who roamed the grounds during Lou Griffin’s time and
helped to keep monkeys inside the electrified fence are now kept in
pens. The site manager estimates, since he is unable to identify
individuals, that 30 to 60 animals are now outside the fences.
These escapees are sometimes found at neighboring houses or ranches
and along roadsides.
Animals will die if things don’t change.
Animal Protection Institute executive director Alan Berger
told ANIMAL PEOPLE that the vervet colony formerly studied by Harvard
psychology researcher Marc Hauser was declined because the agreement
between Hauser and Griffin had not been approved by the API board of
directors. It is rare that shelter and sanctuary admission decisions
require board approval. Unless special facilities must be added,
admission decisions are usually made by the executive director or
another senior officer.
Most of Alicia Ivory’s allegations about the current
conditions at the Texas Snow Monkey Sanctuary had reached ANIMAL
PEOPLE earlier from other sources.
Asked to respond, Berger stated, “I will be visiting the
sanctuary the weekend of May 31st,” just after our press date. “I
try to schedule four to five trips each year,” Berger added.
“Sometimes they coincide with specific events at the sanctuary, such
as this time. I have overall responsibility for the sanctuary. I
take that role very seriously and manage accordingly.”
Great May editorial! I hope people pay attention–“rescuing”
animals by purchase from breeders, dealers, stores and auctions is
Several years ago the late American SPCA president Roger
Caras was guest speaker at McGill’s Moot Court. At that time he was
all puffed up about an agreement he had undertaken with the greyhound
racing people to rescue greyhounds. The greyhounds they rescued were
a drop in the bucket but everyone thought he was marvellous and that
the industry was trying to be humane. Of course I had to embarrass
him (and the host) by drawing attention to the futility of it all,
and to the fact that he had just effectively eliminated himself as an
anti dog racing advocate.